International travel grants awarded to eight graduate students

The University of Wisconsin–Madison Division of International Studies, with support from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) and the Graduate School, has awarded travel grants to eight graduate students, representing a range of disciplines, for their overseas work this summer.

“We are pleased to be able to provide financial support for our graduate students,” says Guido Podesta, vice provost and dean of the Division of International Studies. “Being able to travel abroad – whether to do field work or to attend professional gatherings – is vital to the development of scholars who will become the academic leaders of tomorrow.”

Annual competitions offer support for graduate students involved in international research and scholarship, including the Scott Kloeck-Jenson International Internship Fellowships and International Pre-Dissertation Travel Fellowships. This particular competition was made possible by funding allocated for supporting the internationalization of research collaboration.

The selection criteria included the potential to secure international affiliations with experts and/or institutions that might lead to securing future resources and clear added value to the research program of the applicant.

“The variety of these projects speaks to the range of international scholarship in which our graduate students are engaged,” Podesta adds.

The recipients, listed here with their major, are:

  • Scott Cardiff, environmental studies, is traveling to Central America to study the influence of government mining and environmental policies on the impacts of large-scale metal mining in the region.
  • Michael Eggen, geography, is traveling to Ethiopia this summer to do preliminary fieldwork for his study of how environmental change will impact Ethiopian highland agricultural livelihoods in the future.
  • Alexandra Linz, bacteriology, is traveling to Sweden to learn a specific microscopy technique at the McMahon Lab in Uppsala that will enable her to advance her thesis work on sequencing data on unculturable micro-organisms from five bog lakes near Minocqua, Wisconsin.
  • Micah Morton, anthropology, is traveling to participate in an international conference in Singapore and to conduct research in upper mainland Southeast Asia and Southwest China. His research focuses on the post-1980s efforts of members of a transnational minority, the Hani-Akha, to promote a religious and yet modern transnational identity among 2 million Hani-Akha living in the mountainous borderlands of Southwest China, East Myanmar (Burma), North Thailand and Northwest Laos.
  • Catalina Munteanu, forest and wildlife ecology, is traveling to Germany to collaborate with an internationally acclaimed team of land change researchers at the Humboldt University in Berlin and plans to write a research paper on the role of land-use legacies for current environmental change.
  • Theresa Nguyen, English, is traveling to Europe to present a paper at a seminar run by the Hermes Consortium for Literary and Cultural Studies, in Helsinki, Finland, and to conduct research in England at the British Library and Cambridge University Library. She is examining representations of distraction in Romantic poetry and its deployment as a reading practice in 18th-century print culture.
  • Vikram Tamboli, history, is traveling to Guyana to conduct research into the ethnic, racial, indigenous, and diasporan stances in an effort to understand the persistent violence and socio-cultural factionalism there.
  • Ryan Wolfson-Ford, history, is traveling to Thailand to conduct research at the Thai National Library and the Thai National Archives in Bangkok for his dissertation, which focuses on the Ho wars as the watershed moment in the transition to modernity in Lao history.

Individual grants were for amounts up $2,000.

— by Kerry G. Hill